Diet For Arthritis Sufferers

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Hey everyone!

In this post, I want to talk specifically about diet. I know I know it’s all we hear and read about nowadays.

Should we eat meat or shouldn’t we? Should we try the Atkin’s diet, the Paleo diet, the 5:2 diet, the juice diet, soup diet?

Again we are bombarded with information on all kinds of diet.

I believe nutrition is an equally important part of overcoming arthritis and so will be looking at what is ultimately the best diet for arthritis sufferers.

Aiming for an anti-inflammatory diet

We know that arthritis and inflammation go hand in hand, so surely the best approach for us in terms of diet is to eat foods that are less acidic.

I think we have to look more at foods that do the job of neutralizing acid in the body, the more I have looked into it and tried different things the more conclusive the answer was becoming.

Of course, this means avoiding fast food, completely. Before I carry on I don’t want this to become a preachy article where you think I am acting superior for suggesting this.

I am attempting to fully implement what I will be suggesting for myself and I have had many setbacks.

I like a takeaway as much as anyone else and still have cravings, as I mentioned before in this article.

We are surrounded by adverts for fast food restaurants, they have gone from not existing, to being an occasional treat, to now being part of our diet.

Mothers throw away phrases

Eat your vegetables! An apple a day keeps the doctor away!

apples are full of antioxidants that can help ease chronic pain such as arthritis.
Apples are full of antioxidants which can help protect our bodies from free radicals.

We all heard them growing up, I’m sure many of you say them to your children now and without sounding too much like Norman Bates, Mother knows best!

Meat takes centre stage on our plate at any meal, for most people, although I have noticed a growing number of vegetarians and vegans.

The “growing number” is only relative to recent decades, who’s to say that our cavemen ancestors didn’t consume a mainly plant-based diet?

After all, it would have taken a lot more effort to kill a cow, skin it, prepare it and cook it and where would they store the rest of it, so it didn’t go bad?

The answer is who knows, there’s nobody around from that time, to speak truthfully about how they lived and the debates about it rage on, seemingly forever.

But as arthritis sufferers, in particular, should we be having meat? Or are the fruits and vegetables alluded to by our parents another way in helping us overcome our disease?

Getting the percentages right!

By now, you will guess where this is heading, as arthritis sufferers I feel fruits and vegetables should heavily outweigh anything else we eat.

The more I have looked at it, the more I feel everyone should be doing this, but this is aimed at cause and effect for arthritis.

They say something like every extra pound of weight puts ten pounds more pressure on your knees and ankles.

Being overweight isn’t healthy for anyone, but for arthritis sufferers, it makes the condition so much worse.

Just imagine if you were losing weight and for every pound you lost you were alleviating ten pounds of pressure, I am sure your knees and ankles would thank you!

It’s no surprise to me when I speak to people who have recently become vegetarian or vegan that they tell me how much younger, fitter and healthier they feel.

Nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables all have fibre in them which is a staple of a healthy diet and digestive system, nuts and seeds give you essential fats that the body needs.

Vegetarian/Vegan

a vegetarian burger
Should we swap our double cheeseburgers for a veggie one?

I am a meat eater and always have been, that part I want you to know.

In recent years I have dramatically cut my meat intake and dramatically upped my fruit and vegetable intake. Do I feel better for it? Yes. Is that coincidence? No.

The truth is I am gravitating more towards a vegan diet at the minute. I feel it may hold a key to help overcome my arthritis but of course, time will tell.

It interests me that there is less auto-immune disease and cancer in people who eat a vegan diet, as opposed to those who eat meat regularly.

To be clear I don’t dislike meat and don’t condemn people who eat it, I still eat it in smaller amounts and enjoy it, but just because you enjoy something doesn’t mean it’s right for you.

Nowadays with all the meat and dairy alternatives in supermarkets, it has never been easier to switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Although I do recommend looking at recipes, to make meals yourself and using organic produce where possible and affordable.

The message

I am going to make a conscious effort to move towards the diets mentioned above in order to see what effect they have on my arthritis and will, of course, get back to you.

In the meantime as always I am keen to hear from you, your thoughts and or experiences, maybe you have tried this and it’s worked, maybe you’ve tried it and it hasn’t.

Part of me was reluctant to write this, most people don’t like feeling that they are being told their diet is wrong and that’s not my intention.

The aim of this site is always to uncover ways to combat arthritis and chronic pain.

P. S for those who enjoy weight training as I do and are worried about the lack of protein in a vegetarian or vegan diet, there is, of course, supplements that are vegan.

Or consider Popeye, he got his protein from spinach and it is, in fact, a great source of protein.

For those who want a more real-life example, consider googling Patrik Baboumian, he holds the world log lift record for under 105kg and once said this:

“I just found myself thinking that if I would have to kill the animals I ate with my own hands I couldn’t because I was too compassionate. I felt that I was fooling myself eating meat considering my inability to kill an animal so I just thought I’d better be honest to myself and stop eating meat.

This is a message to all those out there who think that you need animal products to be fit and strong. Almost two years after becoming vegan I am stronger than ever before and I am still picture of patrik baboumian a vegan powerlifterimproving day by day. Don’t listen to those self-proclaimed nutrition gurus and the supplement industry trying to tell you that you need meat, eggs and dairy to get enough protein.

There are plenty of plant-based protein sources and your body is going to thank you for stopping feeding it with dead-food. Go vegan and feel the power!”

All the best

Andy

*Update*

I did try to stick to a vegeterian/vegan diet for some time, I felt better and it did reduce arthritis pain a little.

I stopped as I found myself eating too many carbohydrates and packaged foods.

I now try to follow a ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting but the focus is still around getting enough vegetables and salad with plenty of essential fats.

You can read about the ketogenic diet here.

As I have said before just because I wasn’t comfortable with a way of eating such as vegetarian doesn’t mean that it won’t be the right thing for you.

Nobody really knows the optimum way for us to eat, it’s all guesswork and trial and error. So get out there and get trying things!

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16 thoughts on “Diet For Arthritis Sufferers

  1. I dabbled with the raw vegan diet for awhile. I didn’t feel better on it, but I looked worse. I lost weight and my wrinkles seemed more prominent. I would have to agree that most people are guessing on the theories. There are some anti-nutrients in vegetables that create irritable bowel syndrome for some people. Phytates in nuts can disrupt the digestive system.
    One thing to consider is that the Eskimos, who didn’t have access to vegetables were able to survive on meat and even live a healthy life. So, question dietary advice all the time!

    1. Hi Melinda thanks for the excellent comment I agree it is something we should be questioning all the time. Yes you are right about the phytic acid with regards to nuts, it can block nutrients like phosphorus and zinc which are obtained from nuts. Though it is commonly believed that consuming vitamin c can help counteract this. I think with food there are always things to consider such as how it was produced to how you yourself prepare it. Of course it is more than likely there will never be a one fits all diet. Thank you for your comment great to hear from you!

      All the best

      Andy

  2. I personally wouldn’t mind going on a plant based diet but I’m not ready to totally eliminate meat from my diet at this point. I’m curious how is your daily diet is like. Care to share?

    1. Hi Yvonne, yes I have been the same I enjoy meat so I have still been having it occasionally, though I have cut it down more and more. The vegetables or the salad is the main event on my plate with a smaller portion of carbs and usually a meat free alternative. When I eat meat it will usually be chicken, turkey or fish. I like to make sauces from scratch as well, be it in a curry or bolognese. I also make fruit and vegetable smoothies, due to me suffering arthritis I think a lot of the vegetables help neutralise the body, especially celery, cucumber and such like. Glad to hear from you and many thanks for your comment!

      All the best

      Andy

  3. Great article, i come from a family which is affected by arthritis. I have seen my aunties, uncles and cousin struggle with it. I think i should also consider working on my diet to avoid going through it in my later years.

    1. Hi Anne thank you for your kind words. Yes it’s quite prevalent in my family and in modern society now which is why I think the way a lot of us are living is helping these diseases breed at a frightening rate. Of course there is more than diet to consider there is the environment we live in as well, I do believe a close eye on what you eat can prevent these diseases and as there is no cure, prevention is key where possible.

      All the best

      Andy

  4. Arthritis is a major problem for the older folks. There are younger people suffering from arthritis too but the mostly older folks. Diet can reduce the pain that one feels if it is done properly. I did not think about the horror of killing animals until I read your post.
    I am a flexitarian who most time does not care to eat meat. I planned to take meat out of my diet completely in 2018. I get great satisfaction from a Mediterranean Diet.
    I think I will join you and become Vegan. I really enjoy the meals and I feel so much better. The Arthritis pain is less and I a certain there are a whole lot more health benefits.

    1. Hi Luna thank you for your comment! Yes, being 31 years of age and 4 years into my arthritis diagnosis it isn’t much fun, hence why I am actively looking for a solution. I understand why you enjoy the Mediterranean diet it is bursting with flavour!

      I wish you all the best with your diet endeavours!

      Andy

  5. Great post! Informative and easy to understand, which is always a plus for me.

    While I am not an arthritis sufferer myself, my father is. My mom has been trying to get him to make some of these changes over the last 5 years or so as we have seen an increase in his arthritis symptoms. He has been doing quite well considering he is a fairly picky eater. The only real issue we are still having is that on days he does consume more fruits and veggies, he finds he ends up with a very upset stomach. Sensitive stomachs seem to run in my family!

    He also has to watch to ensure that the fruits and veggies he IS eating, are not overly acidic. For him this is frustrating, as those are some of his favorites!

    From watching him go through all of this, I have definitely learned that diets are a very personal thing and I think you’ve done a great job here highlighting that fact. What works for one will not work for all, but you have provided good general information to get anyone started.

    1. Hi Brittaney thank you for your kind words and I am sorry to hear of your fathers troubles. Another thing that helps enormously when going through this is to have a good support network, which your father seems to have!

      I would say that the fruit is more the issue where sensitive stomach is concerned as they are, as you have alluded to, highly acidic. My advice is be careful what type of fruit you consume. For example a Granny Smith apple will be more acidic than a Gala apple as there is more vitamin c content in a Granny Smith. I also find if you can make a smoothie with fruit and vegetables together the vegetables can calm the acidity down, celery and cucumber are good for neutralising.

      All the best

      Andy

  6. That’s pretty interesting. I had heard that a plant based diet could help but I had no idea it had that profound an effect. How long would it take to work though?

    1. Hi Jasmere thank you for the comment!

      I always think a month is a good amount of time to feel a significant difference, if indeed you do feel better for it.

      All the best

      Andy

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